jeff4122
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EPL Matchday 16: What we learned

After a great weekend of EPL action, let's step back and see what this week taught us.

Watford may be here to stay

A team that most expected to go right back down to the Championship at the end of this season, Watford have surprised many and have somehow climbed up to 7th in the table with a win over Sunderland. Sure, beating Sunderland is nothing overly impressive, but their 7 wins from 16 matches is a good haul and it looks like they could establish themselves in this division.

Liverpool continue their inconsistent form

In a wild match, Liverpool clawed back with a late, late goal to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with West Brom. Keeper Simon Mignolet will take a lot of the blame as he allowed as soft a goal as you'll see. But a deflected long-rage effort from Divock Origi gave Liverpool the point and Klopp will be happy to take something. Liverpool sit in 9th and need to put together a good run in the Christmas season.

Palace are legit European contenders

Form, and Palace have plenty of it. They climb to 6 with a win over Southampton and are flying high. Their defense is amongst the best in the league as they've allowed just 15 goals in 16 matches. Alan Pardew has the Eagles playing a great brand of football and they deserve their place in the business end of the table.

United in crisis

Uh oh. A 2-1 loss to Bournemouth has United officially in crisis following their Champions League exit. While they still sit in 4th, they have been unconvincing all season and something is going to have to start changing. Manager Louis van Gaal will begin taking some real fire unless the results change. At the moment, this is not a good football team, plain and simple.

Did you watch any of the matches this week? What do you think?

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And I've officially given up hope for a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League match for Chelsea....
@jeff4122 i know...crazy
@InPlainSight Townsend is a truly forgotten man
hahah @InPlainSight congrats on that. Ayoze has been lots of fun to watch but i fear that you may be right, they may have to sell
We learned that Ayoze Perez's snapshot can steal a bonus 2 points at White Hart Lane. Shame he'll be playing for them by the end of January.
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United escape with a win
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What's with the Chinese football league?
There's something strange happening in the football world right now. Even with all the money and appeal that the world's top leagues bring - the EPL, La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga, France's Ligue 1 and Italy's Serie A, some top players have recently departed their clubs and gone to accept enormous contracts in the Chinese Super League. The latest star to make the move is Chelsea's Ramires, a player at the peak of his career at age 28. I'm stunned. There is a history of great players making the move to China, but in the past it has been players at the very tail end of their careers moving across the world to make huge amounts of money before they retire. Think Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who in recent years went to Shanghai to play. And I understand the appeal for an aging player. Someone like Drogba couldn't keep up with the pace of the top European leagues anymore, but could still be a huge star in China, where the league quality is extremely low. They are major marketing moves for the Chinese teams too, who can bring in world superstars to boost their image. But recently, the players making the move have not been aging stars. They are players in the prime of their careers, like Chelsea's Ramires. Other players to recently make the move are Roma's Gervinho (formerly of Arsenal), who is just 28 years old and Colombia and Inter Milan's Freddy Guarin, a young midfielder of enormous quality and potential. He has been on the radar of the top EPL clubs for years, and to see him turn them down in exchange for a move to the low-level China league is shocking. Alessandro Diamanti, Momo Sissokho, Demba Ba and Paulinho are other players who have recently moved from their European clubs to play in China under huge contracts. It's a bizarre phenomenon. Football in China is not known to be a very popular sport, but the Chinese owners have loads of money and are doing a good job convincing top players to come and join them. I'm sad to see exciting players like Ramires and Gervinho leave Europe, where I could watch them in the Champions League, but I'm fascinated to see what they will make of themselves in China, and to follow along to see if the Chinese league continues to pry away great talent from Europe. @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda @Bobs What do you make of this recent trend?
To my sports fans...
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